Friday, December 20, 2013

27% Toll Increase January 1st - Pay Up or Fight Back?

What you were promised:
2005 seems like a long time ago. President George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term, Pope John Paul II passed away, and Saddam Hussein went on trial in Iraq. A lot happened that you may have forgotten, or at least, that’s what the folks on the Commonwealth Transportation Board are banking on.

Back in 2005, they released this press release. In it, they announced a toll increase from 50 to 75 cents at the main toll plaza on the Dulles Toll Road, and from 25 to 50 cents on the entrance and exit ramps. According to the CTB, “The quarter toll increase will complete Virginia’s share to fund Phase 1….[and] will also help to fund part of Phase 2. The projected cost is $3.5 billion.” 

The resolution the CTB passed said they might need to make "...a second toll rate adjustment in an amount similar to the adjustment made by the Board in this resolution at or near the time of the commencement of construction of Phase 2;..."

Phase 1 had an estimated completion date of 2011, and Phase 2 of 2015.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Virginia Purchase the Greenway!?

Del. Joe May, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has introduced HB1979, legislation that would purchase the Dulles Greenway from its private owners, and place it under Virginia ownership.

Government to the rescue . . . right ? Not so fast.

Toll increases on the Greenway are currently limited by the authorizing legislation, but if Virginia purchases the Greenway, that limit on toll increases no longer applies. Now keep in mind that in 2006 Joe May cast his vote to hand over the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) to MWAA and put in motion the debacle that has led to soaring DTR tolls.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gov. McDonnell’s Transportation Plan Doubles Down on Flawed Dulles Model

Hamilton, VA—January 10, 2013

Gov. McDonnell’s transportation funding plan raises several concerns for Virginia citizens. In his plan, the Governor proposes abolishing the current gas tax and substituting a 16% sales tax increase to generate revenue for transportation funding. Released last week, the plan makes it clear he intends to approach transportation funding in the Commonwealth by employing flawed methods as used on the Dulles Metro extension. urges the Governor to reconsider his plan, and asks the General Assembly to reject any similar plan put before them.